Police are inclined to use one of the characteristics of a problem to influence the way in which incidents are clustered and the problem is thereby identified. Common characteristics are:
1. Behavior - most frequently used characteristic for clustering incidents, especially when the focus is on a citywide problem (noise, theft of vehicles, sale of drugs, spousal abuse)
2. Territory - A collection of different behavioral problems, concentrated in a given area, will typically result in the problem being identified by the place name or the area (Joe's Bar, Pine Street and Saginaw Street).
3. Persons - identified in terms of offenders, complainants, or victims (the elderly), a large class of people (shoppers), a group (a gang), a family or an individual (repeat offender or the person who persistently harasses a neighborhood).
4. Time - predictable problems identified in terms of an event or by the season, the day of the week, or the hour of the day in which they most often occur (annual concert, Halloween).
Served as the head of the Berkeley, California, police department from 1905-1932.
He moved aggressively against local gambling and opium establishments.
He won national publicity for being the first chief to order his men to ride bicycles on their beats.
Time checks showed officers on bikes responded 3 times faster to calls then officers on foot.
Voters approved a bond and Berkeley had the first signal system hanging at the intersections for the reporting of emergency calls.
Vollmer developed the concept of the modus operandi file for the apprehension of repeat offenders.
By 1914 Vollmer had his entire patrol force operating out of automobiles, the first totally mobile patrol force in the country.
Based on a set of intelligence, psychiatric, and neurological tests he selected police officers.
Vollmer was the first police chief to actively recruit police officers from college students.
One of these "college cops" that worked for Vollmer was O.W. Wilson, who later became chief of Chicago and the first dean of the school of criminology at the University of Calf., Berkeley.
Vollmer had the first patrol vehicle with a radio.
In 1921 he was elected president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).
Between 1908 and 1915, Berkeley's population increased by 73%, but criminal complaints rose by only 14% and the value of stolen property decreased by 28%. During these years only 5 people were added to the police force.
1923 Vollmer agreed to take over as Police Chief in Los Angeles for 1 year.
Vollmer hired ex-criminals to gather intelligence information on the criminal network in LA
Based on the intelligence information they conducted raids.
Vollmer started a modus operandi file.
Vollmer required all 3 thousand officers to undergo the intelligence tests he required in Berkeley.
Using the test scores Vollmer reassigned and promoted officers.
In the Fall of 1929 he was appointed the first professor of police administration in the country at the University of Chicago.
In 1919 Vollmer addressed the IACP on the subject, "The Policeman As a Social Worker". Vollmer urged police to develop crime prevention programs that would attack crime at its source.
Vollmer developed the first program coordinating police efforts at crime prevention with those of other government agencies. In 1925 the first coordinating council in the country was organized for the purpose of mobilizing community resources to deal with juvenile delinquency.
"In 1931 Vollmer wrote: 'After spending nearly a quarter of a century instructing policemen I have come to the conclusion that the mechanics of the profession are of less importance than a knowledge of human beings.'"